New Bill Would Bring Independent Practice to APRNs in Arkansas

Posted By American Med Spa Association, Wednesday, January 27, 2021

A new bill filed in Arkansas this year would reduce practice restrictions for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). You can read the complete text of Senate Bill 168 (SB 186) here; the bill’s primary sponsor is Senator Kim Hammer. The bill has been assigned to the Senate’s Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee for further deliberation.
SB 186 would allow APRNs to practice independently within their statutory scope of practice. Currently, APRNs require written practice agreements with a collaborating physician to practice. These agreements authorize the scope and location of practice, as well as their prescriptive authority. SB 186 would allow APRNs to be granted the removal of this requirement once they have completed 1,000 hours of specialized clinical practice. APRNs granted this removal would be referred to as “qualified advanced practice nurses” and could practice independently. APRNs with fewer than 1,000 hours would still need to enter a collaborative agreement. However, in addition to a physician, the APRN also could collaborate with podiatrists and qualified advanced practice nurses (those with more than 1,000 hours). In addition to these new changes, the APRN’s prescriptive authority would now include schedule II – V controlled substances.
The national trend has been moving toward allowing APRNs to practice as independent health care providers, not needing the direct supervision of physicians. SB 186 is right in line with that trend and, if passed, would allow Arkansas APRNs to become independent health care providers in their own right.
We will be monitoring SB 186 as it works its way through Arkansas’s legislative process this year.